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The Trump Administration Wants To Expand The US Nuclear Arsenal
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13 Jan 2018 02:09 AM EST

According to a draft Pentagon policy document obtained by HuffPost, President Donald Trump's Defense Department wants to expand American nuclear capabilities by adding "low-yield" weapons of the kind that decimated Nagasaki and Hiroshima to the US arsenal. The document, called the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, lays out what appears to be a new approach to nuclear deterrence that relies on acquiring weapons with comparatively "low"-level destructive capabilities meant to convince nations like Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea that the US has weapons in its arsenal that it would hypothetically be willing to use. The logic in the document, which will not be finalized until February, is that by introducing more of these less-powerful weapons, which it calls "supplements," the US would actually enhance nuclear deterrence. Other nuclear powers, which also have low-yield bombs, would realize that the US has weapons with capabilities weak enough to actually deploy in conflicts, and would then avoid deploying their own arsenals as well. But the US already has over 1,000 such low-yield devices — more than the nuclear weapons totals of every other nuclear power in the world besides Russia. The review claims that Russia is threatening to use its low-yield weapons, and that the US must be willing to respond.

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